Hey, y’all! My friends Kytana Le, Lucien Ye, and I created a chill, atmospheric, color-based puzzle game called The Endless River during the 2018 Global Game Jam. In the spirit of the Global Game Jam’s encouragement of knowledge-sharing, here’s a tutorial on how we made all of the visual effects in the game!
Firstly, here’s the entire Github repository for the whole Unity project. Feel free to download it and use the resources, as long as you include the same open-source license with your project.
I’m going to talk about how we chose the effects that we used and give a short overview of how to implement every effect. One of these effects uses a shader that’s controlled by gameplay code, so this tutorial should be a great example of how to integrate shaders into the overall aesthetic and the game mechanics for your games.
In addition, there are a couple of tutorials that cover the details how the shaders were written for some of the effects, as there’s more material than would fit in this tutorial:
Now, on with the tutorial!
Continue reading Full Game Aesthetic Walk-Through
Hey, y’all! My friends Kytana Le, Lucien Ye, and I created a chill, atmospheric, color-based puzzle game called The Endless River during the 2018 Global Game Jam. In the spirit of the GGJ, I want to share with you how we created the post-processing effect for the game that create the vignette.
We’re going to walk through:
- How to add post-processing effects to a camera in Unity, and
- How to write a shader with a vignette and color effect
Here’s the final code for the post-processing shader used in this tutorial, for your reference. It’s under an open-source license 🙂
Continue reading Camera Effect Shaders in Unity
It seems like I’m on a roll with outline shaders! I’ve already written a basic cel shader with outline tutorial and an animated dotted outline shader, and now I’m doing this colored outline.
The special thing about the color of this outline is that it’s using the color of the texture, so that the outline color always matches the pixel it’s closest to. I find it’s a common tool used by 2D artists to make outlines feel more natural, as opposed to using a solid color like black for the whole outline.
Here’s an example of the difference it makes with an example from 2D pixel art from u/croakiee on Reddit:
This tutorial teaches you how to do this effect in 3D.
IMPORTANT: Since I already went over the basics of how to do the outline here, I’m not going to repeat that explanation in this tutorial. Do the basic tutorial first if you’re not sure how to create an outline at all.
Here’s the full code for the shader for reference, under a non-commercial open-source license:
->> Link to full code for Unity Colored Outline Shader
Also, The 3D model is from this free asset pack.
Now, on with the tutorial!
Continue reading Colored Outline Shader in Unity
Hey, y’all! My friends Kytana Le, Lucien Ye, and I created a chill, atmospheric, color-based puzzle game called The Endless River during the 2018 Global Game Jam. I wrote all of the shaders used for this game (except for the bloom), and my favorite one is definitely the reflective water shader.
So, while it’s still fresh in my mind, I figured I’d write a tutorial about it! The waving effect is quite similar to the 3D water shader tutorial, but the reflectivity is a special Unity trick that I felt made it worth writing a whole tutorial about.
If y’all want to see another tutorial covering how I made the entire aesthetic for the game, including bloom, other post-processing effects (like the vignette), fog, animations, and other effects, please let me know!
If you have any other feedback or questions about these tutorials, don’t be afraid to PM me on Reddit, contact me on Twitter, or comment on this post ❤
For your reference during the tutorial, here’s the final code for this shader, under an open-source licence. The code isn’t my usual shader tutorial repository, but instead the repository for the whole game. 😉
-> Link to final code for Unity 2D Reflective Water Shader
On with the tutorial!
Continue reading 2D Reflective Water Shader in Unity
Hey y’all! Today, I want to show y’all how I made this wavy grass shader in Unity. The lighting is a simple cel shader, which I covered in a post on cel shading, so we’re going to focus on the vertex animation that creates the wave!
Shout-out to this Low-Poly Foliage asset pack, which is where I got the grass models from.
I took a bit of feedback from the Reddit posts I made about this blog! Redditor aramanamu had some great suggestions, a couple of which I got several times, so I decided to implement them in this post:
I hope this is what you were looking for! I highlighted code comments in orange, and I included in-progress screenshots for every step of this tutorial. ^^
If you have feedback about these tutorials, don’t be afraid to PM me on Reddit, contact me on Twitter, or comment on this post ❤
For your reference during the tutorial, here’s the final code for this shader, under an open-source licence:
-> Link to final code for Unity Grass Wave Shader
Now, on with the tutorial!
Continue reading Waving Grass Shader in Unity
Earlier, I wrote a tutorial on how to create a cel shader with an outline effect. For the sake of not repeating that explanation, refer to that tutorial to learn how to draw the basic outline.
You can apply this outline effect to any kind of lighting or other shader properties, since it’s in its own pass.
Here’s the final code for you to reference:
–> Link to final code for Unity Dotted Outline Shader
Continue reading Animated Dotted Outline Shader in Unity
Hey y’all, I want to share with you the settings I used related to rendering in Unity for these tutorials. These settings make a HUGE difference with respect to quality.
I highly encourage you to explore the meaning behind all of the settings I’m presenting to you. Read up on Forward vs. Deferred rendering; learn what anti-aliasing means; don’t just accept these settings and go. I’m still learning everything myself! And we’ll be much better off having power over these settings instead of constantly Googling why something isn’t working.
Continue reading Unity Graphics Setup
After I posted my cel shader tutorial, I asked for more tutorial ideas on Twitter. A mutual of mine requested help:
Welp, here’s that tutorial, Brannan! XD It doesn’t have ALL of the qualities that you requested, but I think it does the trick for a magical-fade effect.
With this shader, you’ll be able to tune the color, speed, fade speed, size, and texture of the dissolve. For example, in the gif below, the green lingers longer, and the dissolve happens faster.
For reference, here’s the final code for the shader. Note that it includes code for a cel shader, so if you want to use the effect in your own lighting scheme, you’ll need to adapt this code for your needs.
–> Link to final code for Unity Dissolve Shader
Continue reading Dissolve Shader in Unity
Heya, I’m Lin Reid, programmer on Limit Theory, and I’m going to show y’all how to make a water shader in Unity! This is totally non-Limit-Theory related… just writing some shaders for fun 😂
This tutorial is really a general graphics programming tutorial in disguise. The techniques we’re going to learn in this post- vertex animation and using depth textures- are basically applicable to any platform. However, I do go over a few of the quirks with getting camera depth textures to work in Unity so that you can make it work too.
These are the two possible end results, applied to an adorable Boston Terrier model made by artist Kytana Le (please ignore crappy gif quality):
Notice how both have a foam line where the dog touches the water (but with different styles for each) and animated waves. We’re going to learn how to do both. Let’s start with the foam line!
Also, for reference, here’s the complete code for the shader:
–> Link to final code for Unity Water Shader
UPDATE: I now also have a tutorial for an ice shader that covers a distortion effect that looks GREAT with this water shader, like in the gif below. Finish this tutorial first, then follow the ice shader to add the distortion pass! ;0
Continue reading Simple Water Shader in Unity
There are just a couple of Unity shader tutorials that I wrote for another dev blog that I wanted to make sure are linked here.
EDIT: I re-posted the cel shader to this blog 🙂